There are many ways to digitize the process of collecting and managing your paper documents Keeping all your vital papers in electronic form will help you stay organized and ensure that you always have ready access to that information. Perhaps even more important, reducing the level of paper clutter in your home can help keep your home fire safe. Fires often start in home offices due to the accumulation of too many electronic devices and the perfect kindling: paper and packages that contain flammable adhesives.
Here are three ways to go paperless in your own home:
1. With Your Smartphone
The most basic way to digitize your papers and always have them in your pocket is to use the camera function on your smartphone. You may not want to use this for the very sensitive information, but it’s a quick fix for documents that you know you will need to access often. Additionally, many apps, such as Google Drive and Evernote, are available to offer a more structured, secure way to store your documents on your phone
2. Using a Scanner
Although it requires a new piece of hardware, using a desktop scanner to go paperless offers the best set of features and flexibility. Many desktop scanners can be bulk-loaded with papers of multiple sizes and quickly scan through them. Additionally, the scanning software that accompanies the hardware can turn the information in your documents into searchable text that can help you quickly retrieve the information a pinch.
3. Going Through a Third-Party Service
If the first two options sound daunting, there are third-party services that will scan, index and return digital copies of your files to you. Although this provides all of the benefits of the previous options, the one drawback is the turnaround time required to process the documents each time.
No matter which option you choose, the benefits of going paperless will be obvious when you sit in your newly-minted clear and clean home office!
The Hartford does not endorse any of the products or services mentioned.